The senior bowl is upon us and once again college football’s biggest stars are gathering for an all star showcase. While this year may lack some of the elite talent we’ve seen in recent years, such as Baker Mayfield and OJ Howard, there are still plenty of players who will hear their name called early in the draft. In fact, with a strong week several of these players could be drafted in the first round. Here are my top five senior bowl players who I think can elevate themselves into the first round.
Darnell Savage, S, Maryland
Savage has a legitimate case to be the second best safety in this class and potentially a first round pick. He is a true enforcer who absolutely flies up to defend against the run and is as physical as they come. But this is not your typical thumper box safety. Savage is also very strong in coverage. He moves well and has a gift for ready the quarterback’s eyes and making plays on the ball. I expect big things from him this week.
Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn State
Oruwariye is my third ranked corner in this class. He has the length and coverage ability to come into the NFL and make an impact from day one. I think coaches will be impressed with the versatility of his game and the tools he possesses. While there are other corners in this class who have received more attention and notoriety through the draft process so far, I believe Oruwariye will start to get the attention he deserves this week.
Zach Allen, DL, Boston College
Allen was an extremely productive player in college and he looks like he has almost the desired skills to carry that over into the NFL. We already know that he’s a strong run defender. If he can show the consistent pass rush ability and athleticism during practice then there is little question that he should be a first round pick.
Erik McCoy, iOL, Texas A&M
McCoy is powerful and skilled. He opened up running lanes is the rushing attack and he’s a hard man to get around in the pass offense. McCoy has also played multiple positions and has shown the team first mentality that coaches will fall in love with. He’s my top ranked interior offensive lineman in this class and with a strong showing this week (which I believe he’ll have) then he can solidify himself as a first round pick.
Gerald Willis, DT, Miami
Willis has show the ability to penetrate and be disruptive as much as most anybody in this class. However, he has also been inconsistent. This is his opportunity to show coaches that he has all the right habits and the ability to put it all together on the field. If he can do that then you could see him drafted in the first round come April.